Wilson receives Logger of the Year honors

Throughout his career in the logging and forestry industry, James Wilson of Rison has always looked for opportunities to increase efficiency — operationally and financially — and help others do the same.

On Oct. 3, the Arkansas Forestry Association honored Wilson with its Logger of the Year award, during the group’s annual meeting in Little Rock.

“James has and continues to be someone who thinks ‘outside the box,’ and has been innovative in the use of technology to increase productivity, efficiency and safety,” said AFA Executive Vice President Max Braswell. “He has always understood the importance of the resource he’s been entrusted to utilize, is devoted to his community in so many ways and has made a vital economic impact in the Rison area and the entire region.”

After receiving a forestry degree from the University of Arkansas at Monticello, James worked as an industry forester and equipment salesman before joining the family’s logging business in 1990. When the Logger and Education Training program started shortly thereafter, Wilson became one of its earliest supporters and proponents.

“He was one of our first ArkPro Loggers,” said George Lease, director of the Logger Education and Training program, who nominated Wilson for the honor. “His support of the forest products and logging sector in our state has been exemplary.”

Today, James uses his wealth of experience and connections to help the logging community as a partner in River Ridge Equipment, a new company that rebuilds and refurbishes John Deere skidders and skidder parts. This provides loggers in the state and across the country with an opportunity to increase efficiency and productivity.